Weeks of stuff, venues in outskirts

These days I’m the ultimate homemaker, washing and cleaning and cooking and throwing out everything that comes my way. I became buddies with local dudes collecting bottles; we talk about how much clothes I put to recycle, about the crazy weather and if jars could be sold for good money. The old lady on a bench asks if there is a renovation in my flat, I say “yes” because I do not want to explain how the renovation is actually in my head. I think at this point of life I would make a perfect wife and/or waste manager. Hard to pick just one. So I go to places.

It was perfect to have Berlin in between Humlebaek and Vilnius. We watched footbal with pizzashop dudes, making friends in the easiest possible way – shouting COSTA RICA and NAVAS and highfiving all penalty shots. I pretend to understand German and add random words at appropriate moments, my new pizza-creating friends approve, everyone is happy. Everyne was happy in the club, too; and finally I get why people go to clubs overall. Still not sure why it’s not allowed to clap while clubbing, though.

We walk around Neukolln, talking and joking, crossing the baricades where police keeps immigrant students hostage, seeing some art in a supermarket, looking to the skylines from the rooftop garden. All is good in Berlin – and it is great to get back to Vilnius and see it’s more alive than ever.

Pic by Andrej Vasilenko

Marsas Baseine pic by Andrej Vasilenko

We go to MARSAS BASEINE event since a) it happens in an abandoned swimming pool, b) it’s organized by the same people who do STRCAMP and a lot of other cool events. STRC crew had their priorities straight: good music, unused places, chill vibes. It’s really very much like Lithuanian version of Berlin formula, and it works just oh so well. This weekend they will have a STRCAMP festival and I am sure it will be great.

The whole MARSAS BASEINE thing was a preparty for the festival – gathering the people for an easy going Sunday full of cool sunglasses, ping pong and sweet tunes. I am really happy that this kind of events happen – the more abandoned spaces opens for the arts and public, the more alive will be the town.

During the night, we once again talked about gentrification and pushing the city boundaries further from the downtown. Even though Vilnius is small and has only one “center”, you could say that it’s boundaries are getting more flexible – and people are willing to step away from the comfy and shiny to more lo-fi and special spaces, even though they are away from the common paths.

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Dark insides of the venue

One of the examples is Kirtimai cultural center. The center hosts both alternative events and discoteques for those who are over 30 – so, quite a broad spectrum for kids all ages. It is way off the usual party zone, located near the airport (and a local “ghetto”), which adds some charm and makes you go there only if you exactly know what you are looking for. A yard prepared for hanging out, a venue with nice soundsystem, and on Tuesday – 4 acts for exploring experimental collaborations.

Years of KKC

Yeard of KKC

Arma opened OUTERMOST with his new cassette DJing project GROJA MAGAS. Play on words in the title was somewhat reflecting the playful approach to the music. We heard some old school techno, discussions in Chinese, dancy dark ambient and all kinds of weirdness. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not – it’s hard to smoothly mix tapes when you are also an amateur ventriloquist.:) Performance using a puppet and magician wand added the typical Arma’s toutch of live shows. Overall, it was a fun experience to watch, and with more work and thought it can become an actually excellent project.

MIGLAUKAS is also a fresh Lithuanian collaboration. To be fair, not my cup of tea, so I didn’t watch the whole performance. From just a couple of songs I got the positive folk(ish) worldly vibes, combining dreamy vocals supported by variety of instruments. Both of the performers seem to have a lot of potential – especially the technique and precision of the guy behind all of the instruments. With this kind of skill, he can develop into more varied and wider soundscapes. Even if I have my doubts about the genre, they have a good stepping stone here. The music was not falling into the same box as other “folkish wordly” collectives – so it can definitely evolve into something of their own.

YUMIKO YOSHIMOTO (Japan) opened the act by improvising with her guitar, after a while GAILĖ GRICIŪTĖ joined her on a prepared piano. And that was what really put the structure and spice into this project. The energy playing the keyboard and manipulating the strings under the cover turned around the simple improv into a richer soundwave. Like the energy, keen to hear more.

TRAAPS (Italy/France) was the best performance of the night, and I say it because I like structures and they had one.  Atmospheric sound coming in waves, from lighter to heavier, from chilly to beatsy. Would loved if the ending was more firm, because at some point it started to seem they kind of lost the way of what they were trying to say (and so I become distracted by the 5th goal to Brasil’s gate, as seen on local laptops).

The night was nice, and I really put +5 points for opening the stage for new projects.  Good space, good people, summertime.

Picture by Benas Plentas

Picture by Benas Plentas

And if you want to take the gentrification discussion to a whole new level while seeking the ultimate “outskirt” experience, you can always go to another town and pretend that it is an extended district of Vilnius. (But you shouldn’t ever say that out loud because Vilnius and Kaunas are a long-standing rivals, competing which is cooler).

So we went to Kaunas, where POST gallery closed an exhibition and presented performances and concert by DAINA DIEVA.

Performances went as usual – there was a dog eating meat, a girl rubbing that meat into her body, a blindfolded dude who painted the paper for a number hours and let the audience tear it apart. Yada yada, art business. What I was there for was the concert:

DAINA DIEVA  is a lady-genius, who speaks a bunch of languages, is a video creator, musician, performer, translator, curator, project manager and a cool dude. She does the type of “folkish” music that I do enjoy. And by “folkish” I mean dark ambient/experimental, who has roots in Lithuanian folk songs. It is sweet and fragile, but not afraid to put a firmer toutch with drone. With this particular performance, she took the drones into the new level, adding visualisations of a beehive. The video was great – mixing up scenes from daily bee life and footage from human riots, all explained in an educational video, where a serous scientist agues that bees base their actions on patterns, and humans – on 10 commandments. And you see more riots in the hood, not in the hive.

It was a first time when I visited POST gallery, and I loved it. Bright attic with various spaces for different kinds of actions, with a zine library and balcony overviewing the town – perfect for all kinds of events.

A lot of stuff happened, a lot of is to come.

Follow the sounds and keep cleaning.

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